Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pikes Peak Supercross #2

Local racing is the finest kind of racing, Saturday was a nice change of pace, no packing the car the night before, no alpine start to Boulder County and then having to deal with football traffic on the drive south, not having to sit alone in a darkened kitchen with my bowl of oats. Our dog won't even hang out with me on these early cold mornings. But Saturday was nice, a good leisure start to the day.

Course conditions were once again, primo. By our start, the frozen ruts had just become to transform themselves into a slippery skim layer of mud on top of frozen ground. I walked the course on Friday and immediately decided then that the Michelin Muds were going to replace the Griffo's again and I wasn't disappointed, tires were hooking up like velcro and if I didn't have any control over a line choice, it didn't matter, these tires are just amazing in slippery conditions. Thanks to a smaller field size ( 41 starters ) and a overly-caffeinated cheering section, I pulled off one of the best races I've had in ages, a 7th place which will hopefully enable me a semi-decent start spot at States in 2 weeks. Bob Prieto from BSV and I shared leads for a about 4 laps where I would pass in the barriers and running sections and then he would crush me on the paved climb. Fellow finishers from our little Avid family was Jim Mathis in the 18th spot and Matt Hunt in 36th. Obviously super pleased with my top ten, but even more so by how the remainder of the day unfolded. I wanted to stick around for the rest of the afternoon to cheer on some co-workers and friends who would be racing in the Cat 4's and 3's.

Chris Wilkerson was one of the guys. He's made 2 prior attempts at racing cross. The first being the Pikes Peak race 2 years prior. That race ended within the first half lap with an exploded rear derailleur and no spare bike. The second attempt was at Chatfield Res last year, I won't go into the ugly....ugly details(again) but it's worth taking a look here. Well, with perhaps a little cajoling and some trepidation, C-Dub decided to throw his hat in the ring again and nailed it finally. It was a ride inspired ! He sat at the back for the start ( to smartly avoid any calamities )and steadily wound his way up to 18th spot with a massive grin most of the way.

Also racing in this group was longtime friend/co-worker Jeremiah Boobar, fresh off back surgery from about 8 months ago followed by more months of rehab and a super focused effort to whip himself back into shape. He's dropped a heap of beer gut and was also on the tail end of some kind of sinus infection. Perhaps it was the antibiotics, but he sat near the finish line at his start time wondering where the rest of the field was until realizing that the whistle had just blown on the other side of the river and he was placed on the exact opposite side of the start line and just missed his start. Thus began a massive TT/chase. He was well over a minute back on the last guy after the last lap. In chase mode, he was going way...way faster than the leaders of this field. By the time the 45 minutes were up, he had moved into 11th place ! With a proper start. it would have been a podium day.

Next up, the 3's. Matt Klick had driven down with his sweetie to do his best to lay waste to his speedy compadres. I haven't stuck around a race for the entire day in a long time and let me tell you these guys have it tough. By their start time, the sun is already sinking below the mountains and the temperatures are dropping quickly. Volunteer officials and race organizers are literally breaking down the course as the races progresses. I think I counted 5 spectators, all significant others helping with encouragement and hand-ups.... "go babe!!!'re doing great !" The venue is mostly quiet, no bells, horns, kids running around...nothing. Matt had a phenomenal couple of laps but was victim to some coordinated attacks that came from behind and wound up 6th.

I'm not ready for the end of the season that's rapidly approaching. I'll be extending by a week and heading up to Bend for Nationals where my primary responsibility will be work related in regard to the Shorty Ultimates but will try to grab a spot for a "B" race prior to the championships races.

Till RRV, here's wishing everyone a Happy Thankgiving, I hope you're all able to share the day with those you cherish. Cheers !
Digging for photo's from Saturday, if you find some please post a comment with links, Thanks



jasper9 said...

Haaaaaaaaaaaa! I have got to say - i got 12th in the 4's. Your buddy came FLYing by like someone kicked his dog, insulted his mom AND stole his bike. I was convinced I was all alone for that last lap and a half. Dude must have some monster strength to make up that much ground on such a hilly course. 'grats!

Chris said...

He does have monster strength. You should see him when he's NOT sick!